Lord in the Sacred Host assumes the state of the Sacred Species. He replaces their substance.
He has subordinated His own state to the manner of being of the species, which becomes the form of His life, which makes the law of His duration. He is, as it were, their subject. He is submissive to them, He depends on them. True, they touch not upon His divine life, and when they cease to exist, He suffers no detriment to His glorified Body, He simply withdraws. He is united to them, undergoing their laws of movement and humiliation. He is treated as they are. In seeing them, we see the state, the exterior manner of Our Lord’s existence. Now, the species are poor, so poor that they no longer possess their own attributes. Consecration has destroyed the substance to which nature had attached them. They have no longer the natural properties of their existence, and they exist only by a miracle. And so, too, with Our Lord. He has nothing in the Blessed Sacrament. He brings nothing from heaven but Himself. He owns not a stone, not a church. He is as poor as are the Sacred Species, poorer, then, than at Bethlehem. There He possessed Himself; there He had a body that could move, that spoke, that could assimilate, could grow, and receive from His friends. But here in the Host, He has nothing. They make Him presents, but that does not change His personal state. Let the altar be of gold and resplendent with a thousand lights, Jesus is not less poor nor less obscure under the Sacred Species. He is civilly dead, powerless to receive anything. He is a dead man! The honor of the religious who makes the vow of poverty is to resemble Him. Jesus is, as it were, imprisoned, bound in a winding-sheet, which forms His whole clothing, and which is always the same, a garment which is even not a substance nor a natural being, so frail that, if the miracle ceased, it, too, would be instantly destroyed. Behold the great Poor Man! To make the vow of poverty, we need to see Him and consider Him! Study His poverty, which is that of the Host, and you will understand how far you ought to carry the spirit of detachment and poverty.
Still more, the species are very humble. They are always white, but white is not a color, and the prolonged sight of it is tiresome. And so, Our Lord has no visible beauty in the Sacrament, no human beauty — He who was so beautiful in life, "the most beautiful among the children of men." The cloud that envelops Him allows nothing to be perceived. The lowest of men is yet more exalted than Our Lord, for he is still someone. Our Lord has willed to assume the law of the species and to be only something. The species are immovable and inanimate. Jesus, the Word, the Life of the world, the supreme Mover of all beings, the Life of all lives, is condemned to remain motionless and inactive. He is imprisoned. He is there reduced to such a point that, however small may be the Host, He is still in It whole and entire. He has in Himself life and movement, but He makes no use of them because He has subjected Himself to the condition of the inanimate species. Men may insult and spurn Him, but He will not defend Himself. If He could suffer. He would endure more in the Host than He did during His life. But we know what the Prophet says in His person, "I am a worm of the earth and no man." The worm is the lowest in the animal creation, just one step above the vegetable kingdom. The worm is destitute of covering, while other living things, even the caterpillar, have a fur, or some kind of vesture. He was like to a worm of the earth on the Cross when they exposed Him naked to the insults of the executioners, but that was but for a very short time. In the Sacrament, He does not become a worm of the earth, but He is exposed to being associated with worms. How many Sacred Hosts are spoiled by accident or want of care! They decay, they rot, worms are generated in them, and they force Our Lord to withdraw, for He remains under the species only as long as they are sound. Worms then take His place. When the Host is in process of decomposition, half destroyed, Jesus Christ takes refuge in the remaining sound part. The Host is now disputed between Jesus Christ and the worms of decomposition! He has assumed all the miseries of the Sacred Species as to its manner of external being, "I have said to rottenness: Thou art my father; to worms, my mother and my sister." Lastly, the species have no will. Men take them up and carry them wherever they wish. No matter who it is that commands Him, Jesus never resists, never says no. He allows Himself to be taken into the hands of a miscreant. That is one of the conditions of the state that He has chosen. He never defends Himself. Society avenges aggression by the punishment of the aggressor, but Our Lord permits everything... Why?... Up to what point?... He was annihilated on Calvary with regard to the happiness and glory of His Divinity, and also in respect to the rest of mankind. Yes, without doubt; but it is here in the Host that the real annihilation comes in. The very lowest degree of creation is to possess no substance at all, to be but an accident, a quality; now, Jesus Christ, who cannot lose His own substance, assumes the external state, the condition of simple, natural accidents. All this He does in order to say to us, "See, and do as I do." Oh, never can it happen in our imitation of Him, to descend as low as He! Our eternal regret will be to have thought so little on the abasement of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
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